How College Bureaucrats Tyrannize a Professor Who Crosses Them

Jun 21, 2017 |  NAS

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How College Bureaucrats Tyrannize a Professor Who Crosses Them

Jun 21, 2017 | 


Peter Wood's article was originally published in The Federalist. We post an excerpt below; please read the entire article here.

The end of the semester provides a good moment to bring the story up to date. When last we heard, Springfield’s dean of arts, sciences, and professional studies had placed Gouws on “Official Warning Status.” This was a preliminary step towards firing the tenured professor. Of course, the dean, Anne Herzog, had her reasons—all of them procedural irregularities stemming from Gouws’ refusal to be steamrolled.

He was accused of denying “the Department Chairperson” admittance to his classroom. (Actually she arrived uninvited and walked out). He was accused of refusing to meet with the dean herself. (Actually he said yes, but wanted to bring a witness, which she refused to allow.) And he was accused of failing to provide a doctor’s note to verify an illness that prevented him from attending a meeting. (Gouws dutifully provided the doctor’s note.)

I repeat the petty details just to capture their sheer pettiness. This is what academic deans do? Well, this is what academic deans do when faced with a renegade professor who keeps trying to slip “men in literature” into his English courses.

Image: Public Domain

John Wenger

| August 01, 2017 - 8:53 AM

Congratulations to Dr. Wood on a brilliantly written essay (the entire essay should have been published instead of merely linked to, since it is quite short).

I was the grievance chairman of the Cook County College Teachers Union for about 16 years, and my job was in part to protect teachers like the one being pilloried by administrators.  I can tell Dr. Wood that he would have been excellent in the job I held.  I hope he keeps us posted on future events as they unfold.

John Wenger


| September 02, 2017 - 3:18 PM

academic freedom is one of the most important things in orders to progress and grow!